A perspective on the changing Windsor Park scene

Posted : 15th June 2014 at 23:01:05

In the past 6 weeks the Windsor Park landscape has changed dramatically, as has been evidenced by numerous photographs provided on Linfieldfc.com

Work on the pitch commenced immediately and is now well underway.

The 4 famous floodlight pylons then came down, closely followed by the demolition of the control tower adjacent to the players tunnel.

In the past week the famous Viewing Lounge / Social Club has been reduced to rubble. Another day or two will be required to finally finish off this well known building which has been situated between the Railway and South Stands since 1971.

The Viewing Lounge is a place that has held numerous memories for so many Linfield supporters. Many of us will have viewed lots of games from that particular vantage point. Many of us will have celebrated numerous Linfield trophy successes in that particular location.

It has been a venue for numerous AGMs, countless supporters clubs' meetings and functions and of course, there have been many private bookings - birthday parties and occasional wedding receptions, christenings and gatherings after funerals.

As has been clearly evident from many of the messages received by Linfieldfc.com this past week, it is a place that will forever be recalled with great affection by many Linfield supporters and in the case of a significant number of supporters, the end of the Viewing Lounge has been greeted with considerable sadness.

Several thousand people have viewed the photos of the changing Windsor Park landscape in recent weeks - evidence of the vast and tremendous interest in the work currently underway.

Of course, the work will continue in the days that lie ahead. In the next day or two, new temporary office accommodation will begin to arrive, to be located between the North Stand and former Railway Stand, close to the Donegall Avenue entrance. Once these new offices have been fitted out, this will facilitate a Linfield move from the South Stand to the new temporary accommodation hopefully by the month end. Once that move has been completed, that will lead to the commencement of the demolition of the South Stand towards mid-July approximately. In due course new temporary dressing room accommodation will arrive to be located in the corner between the North and Kop Stands.

Windsor Park and the South Belfast skyline are changing rapidly and dramatically. It is an exciting time in the proud and illustrious history of Linfield Football Club. While it is in many ways sad to see an end of facilities that have served us well and which are synonymous with joyous occasions and successes spent in the company of dearly loved friends and family, the great change is inevitable and necessary and it is time to look ahead to a bright new dawn and it is time to create new memories in a bright new stadium fit for the modern era.

As someone who has been privileged to watch much of the demolition work at fairly close hand, there have been many mixed emotions at the dramatic scenes unfolding before me but as much as the South Stand and Viewing Lounge will hold many special and great memories, my overriding emotion is very much that the sooner the old stands that have served us well come down, the sooner a brilliant new Windsor Park will rise from the rubble.

It is undoubtedly a transitional period off (and on) the pitch at Windsor Park and as has been previously requested, Linfield will require the patience and understanding of our loyal supporters as the club continues to undergo major changes in the coming days and weeks.

Supporters will of course be kept updated with all developments on Linfieldfc.com

Audaces Fortuna Juvat


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